As the coronavirus pandemic spreads worldwide, many companies are implementing mandatory work-from-home policies. For many, this could be challenging as working from home can be lonely, hard to manage and, with schools closing, difficult to work with family around. This is the new reality for many Americans and finding the right tips can help you make it through and in the end be more productive than you think.
Below are some tips to help you work remotely in a positive and productive way:
Create a Workspace: A big challenge when working from home is finding the right space to work in, something home based. It’s important to know that you should never work in your bed or on the couch. Studies from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard has backed up the idea that you should never work where you sleep. Working from where you sleep or even relax will make it more difficult to fall asleep or even wind down as your brain will think you’re in a place of work and thinking.
If you live in a smaller place, it can be hard to figure out a separate area to work in. Not everyone has an additional room for a workspace or a home office. I find that the kitchen table is a great place to work. Make it your own space, take some décor off the table and set up a workstation. Some people tend to either get distracted or work later hours. Creating this workspace allows you to begin your day and end your workday at the same hours you currently work in the office.
Dress Code: Some believe the biggest benefit of working from home is that you can wear PJs all day. However, many believe that not getting ready for the day creates a less productive and much slower start to your work. I am not saying that you dress in work attire but at least change into somewhat nice outfit, so you are signaling your brain to know when it is work time and when it is relaxation time.
Dressing appropriately while working from home can create confidence and allow you to maintain a productive and normal workday. It’s a visual reminder that you are ready to get projects done and creates an environment that is normal to you without actually being an office.
Keep that 9-5: As mentioned above, some tend to work longer hours because they don’t know when to stop. In addition, they take a longer break and feel they need to work later hours to finish certain projects. People work usually 9 to 5 and it is very important to stick to your normal work hours. This will allow you to be accountable and make you manage your time properly. By stopping at your normal hour, you can recharge and start the following day with a fresh outlook.
Especially now, with everything shutting down, your home environment probably includes roommates and/or family members. This can cause many distractions while working and make it even harder to stick to your normal work hours. Make sure you set boundaries and ground rules and allow yourself to disengage with them while working and then re-engage when you are done. This will give you a good work-life balance.
Video Conferencing: Remote workers have used video conferencing as a value impact on their engagement with other co-workers. Working from home can be very lonely and you can feel disengaged from your co-workers or even just people at this point. However, this is 2020, and that means our technology is up to speed, and using video conferencing has made it quite easy for co-workers to connect with one another virtually.
The best tip would be to set up a weekly call with your team or people you engage with a lot on email. This will allow you to feel like you are in the office with one another and can see facial expressions and feel more engaged.
With all this change happening day by day, it can be difficult to navigate through your new normal. The above tips can help you while you work at home.